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Ed Fries - From Excel to Xbox 360 Interview (July 2005)

by Kikizo

Published 2005


Kikizo interviews Ed Fries, who left Microsoft's Game division in 2004 (and was previously Vice President of Game Publishing), in an interview titled "From Excel to Xbox 360" in July 2005.

Includes a tons of questions on his past gaming experience at Microsoft - the Xbox 360, Rare, Perfect Dark: Zero and next-gen gaming. Questions also arise about his current exploits, or as he calls it "retirement" (with AEGIA, Fireant and Airtight Games). See the segments list for more details.

See the original video page at Kikizo. Thanks to Kikizo for the video source.


Run time 00:31:47
Producer Kikizo
Production Company Kikizo
Audio/Visual Windows Media Audio 9 Standard, Stereo, 44.100 kHz (kikizo_edfries_interview_july2005_hd.wmv), Windows Media Video 9 Standard, 640 x 480, 25 FPS (kikizo_edfries_interview_july2005_hd.wmv)
Language English
Contact Information Kikizo: <a href="http://www.kikizo.com/">http://www.kikizo.com/</a>

Segments

MICROSOFT CAREER

<ul><li>Teaching himself to program as a high school student, making a Frogger clone called Froggy, first deal at horrible 5% royalty
</li><li>Being one of the first programmers on Excel, programming business software versus games, Easter eggs in Excel
</li><li>"I'm not saying I invented the screensaver, but..."
</li><li>I like your fish.
</li><li>"You do something and people send you money!"
</li><li>Why did Ed move from MS Office to MS Games.
</li><li>Programming/games - replacing one love with another
</li></ul>

XBOX

<ul><li>Building Microsoft's games business - "career suicide"?!
</li><li>"Crazy people" moving onto the Xbox project
</li><li>"Nothing came from my group on the Dreamcast project"
</li><li>Two different Xbox 1 projects - one from the Dreamcast guys
</li><li>The origins of the "Xbox" name and why it stuck
</li><li>Pursuing passions and learning new things
</li><li>Leaving the company - hard to talk about, hard to be fair...
</li><li>...but talks about it anyway...
</li><li>Similarity in leaving MS Office to leaving MS Games
</li><li>"A lot of people have opinions on how things should be done..."
</li><li>Xbox "Trojan Horsing" into entertainment - always the plan...?
</li></ul>

NEXT-GEN

<ul><li>Xbox 1 was the most powerful machine - and 360...?
</li><li>"I want Halo 3 to be the best damn game in the world"
</li><li>Strategic needs of big project like Halo 3...
</li><li>"PS3 is roughly comparable to 360"
</li><li>The issue of underpowered demo hardware and prerendered demos
</li><li>"PS3 demos are more or less possible on both machines"
</li><li>Why Ed is impressed with companies like Ubisoft
</li><li>Why certain game publishers are going to hurt themselves in the long term
</li></ul>

CURRENT PROJECTS

<ul><li>Today - "the easiest thing to say is I am retired!"
</li><li>Being on boards, start ups and working with VCs
</li><li>Working with AGEIA on first "physics accelerator" chip
</li><li>Selling FireAnt to Sony, consulting with SOE
</li><li>"I don't work for SCE!"
</li><li>Working with Airtight Games
</li><li>Consulting for various companies and publishers
</li><li>Similarities of Ed's work today and Capital Entertainment Group?
</li><li>Ed's view of what happened with Capital Entertainment Group
</li><li>How hard it is to raise money independently and bring into games
</li><li>"In that sense our business is less mature than movies..."
</li><li>How to get creativity back into the market?
</li><li>CRAZY-ASS BETS! How venture capitals think about the world...
</li></ul>

RARE

<ul><li>Talking of "crazy-ass bets"... RARE...
</li><li>"I still believe in Rare."
</li><li>"It has almost been twice as hard for Rare..."
</li><li>"I saw the new Killzone video and it looked awesome! But I also played the old game, and it wasn't!"
</li><li>"Perfect Dark Zero - the buzz I hear internally from people who have no reason to lie to me is..."
</li></ul>

AND

<ul><li>Carving out pockets of freedom while at Microsoft
</li><li>"I am really enjoying not working for anybody!"
</li><li>Typical Kikizo intro/outtakes etc.
</li></ul>

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